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Voices for Recovery


Timothy Harrington (06/30/2009)

Timothy Harrington Voice

Manhattan Beach, CA
Recovery Advocate

I started drinking at 12 and managed to not cross the imaginary line of no return until I was about 18. It was a period that included moves around the country, sordid relationships, several DUIs, a thousand lies, some thievery, and umpteen “never again” promises, not to mention a sense of loneliness and despair I never want to repeat.

Intervention came in 1997, as I sat hung-over next to some guy smoking a joint by my pool. Something in me shattered when my brother Chris, whom I hadn’t spoken to in quite a while, asked if I would come inside to talk. I wanted nothing to do with anything serious, but not wanting to be rude, I went inside and there they were: the intervention team.


After 28 days at a treatment center and several months of roughly a meeting a week and being with old friends, I moved to Aspen, opened a bar and proceeded to almost kill myself. I decided Aspen was the problem, so I moved to Austin for five long days and then went back to California, where I stayed with my brother and some friends, who both kicked me out. It was standing on a corner somewhere in Manhattan Beach that my journey began and the seed was planted. I called my mother in hopes of getting her to send me to rehab, but my stepfather, who was 12 years clean at the time, answered the phone. I pleaded for a specific program, but he did me the greatest favor and instead, lovingly said, “Go to 90 meetings in 90 days,” and that was that.


I went to a meeting and began my continuing journey in recovery. I attended nearly 270 meetings in my first 90 days, and eventually knew I wanted to work in treatment. I began working at a residential treatment center and quickly learned it was a tough gig, but I really liked the one-on-one work. I was lucky to experience training for a sober companion, a position I later entered and a role I love very much. Today, I have a beautiful wife and two beautiful daughters, and I know that they are miracles for a guy like me.



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